January 31, 2014 (San Diego)--If you're not a sports fan--or just can't bear to watch the SuperBowl after the Chargers were excluded, cheer up! While the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks duke it out on the (freezing cold) field in New Jersey this Sunday during Super Bowl XLVIII, San Diego County residents can soak up the sunny weather and take advantage of County activities that totally trump TV touchdowns.
Whether you love hiking, biking or just exploring San Diego, there’s plenty to do across the County this weekend instead of watching the Super Bowl. The County offers ten alternatives; all events take place on Sunday. Most of them are free--and most are in East County.
Number 1. Ready, Set… Hike!
While the centers of the Broncos and Seahawks are hiking balls, you can be hiking a trail! There are plenty of County trails to choose from, but this time of year is ideal for taking a day trip to Anza Borrego’s Agua Caliente Regional Park? You can take a guided 1.5-mile marsh trail hike that begins at 10 a.m. Plus, soak in the geothermally-heated pool afterward to soothe those muscles.
Round up the family and head to Lake Morena County Park for some fishing. Located at 2550 Lake Morena Drive in Campo, the park offers weekend fishing opportunities,. Due to current water conditions, no personal watercrafts may be launched, but float tubes, canoes and kayaks are allowed and motorized boats may be rented.
Forget watching men in helmets throw around a ball, grab you binoculars and head to the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas for some bird-watching. You can download a bird watching check list and make a day of it.
4. Extra Point: adopt a pet
5. Scrimmage Game
Why watch football when you can play? Set up a scrimmage game at the County park nearest to you. Find a full list of the parks online and get playing!
6. Kickoff Concert
Fred Beneditti and George Svoboda — also known as “The Two Guitars” — are kicking off the Sunday Concert Series at the Vista Library (700 Eucalyptus Avenue) on Sunday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. The Encinitas Library will also be celebrating the day with Cajun/New Orleans-style jazz from 2-3 p.m. and Jeff Berkely will be marking the 250th Acoustic Showcase at the Fallbrook Library .
7. Cheap Shot
The football players may be getting their cheap shots in on Sunday, but you can get your own cheap shots at Flinn Springs in El Cajon (14787 Old Highway 80) at the free Knowing Your Camera Photo Class from 3-4:30 p.m. Bring your camera and wear your hiking gear and learn how to capture waterfalls with a slow shutter speed and get great macro shots of insects galore.
8. Roll Out
Wheel your way along the coast. Break out the bike and ride it along the Bayshore Bikeway — it’s OK to feel smug about our weather while the football players are utilizing hand warmers.
9. Game Plan
While everyone is sitting at home, the stores out there are crowd-free, so take advantage. Make a disaster plan with your family, purchase emergency supplies (bonus: no waiting in lines) and download the SD Emergency app for good measure.
10. Wild Card
Get a free history lesson in on Sunday instead of sitting in front of the tube with a docent-led tour at Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve and Ranch House (12122 Canyonside Park Dr.) at 1 p.m. You’ll get to visit the historic Johnson-Taylor Adobe and learn what cultures, people and architecture shaped San Diego. Bonus: Bring your running gear and you can jog around the trail before or after the tour.